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Young Raiders relish return of Essex derby to Romford

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 January 2019

Raiders forward Ewan Hill (pic John Scott)

Raiders forward Ewan Hill (pic John Scott)

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The old Essex rivalry between the Raiders and Chieftains will return to Romford this weekend after almost six years.

Former Raiders netminder Shane Kemp denies Chelmsford Chieftains forward James Ayling in the two side's last ever meeting at Rom Valley Way in March 2013 (Pic: John Scott)Former Raiders netminder Shane Kemp denies Chelmsford Chieftains forward James Ayling in the two side's last ever meeting at Rom Valley Way in March 2013 (Pic: John Scott)

The Everyone Active Raiders Division Two side will welcome Chelmsford Chieftains to the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday (5.15pm) as they look to re-kindle the Essex derby.

And forward Ewan Hill feels they can take confidence from their 4-3 victory at Bracknell Hornets into the clash.

The young Raiders side will be looking to cause another upset against one of the National League Division Two title challengers.

And the 16-year-old Hill is also looking forward to coming up against his former junior club.

“The Bracknell game was tough, but we dug deep and fought to the end and came away with the two points we deserved,” Hill said.

“By getting the win it gives us a boost going into the Chelmsford game and shows we can compete with the current leaders.

“Even though we are a young team we have the skill level and determination to battle against the top teams.”

The youngster was part of the Romford junior set-up until the old Rom Valley Way rink closed in April 2013, weeks after Raiders had beaten Chelmsford 8-3 in the cup final first leg.

Hill then opted to join Chelmsford for the last five seasons before returning to his roots this term, adding: “I’m excited to play them this weekend on our home ice. I played for Chelmsford whilst waiting for Romford to make its return and also not being eligible in the first game against them this season due to my age.”

Although he expects it to be a tough test, Hill knows Raiders must stick together if they want to get anything from the match.

“We know how good a team Chelmsford are and what they can bring to the game, so we must stick together as a team and fight for the win as they will want it as much as us,” he said.

Hill admits he is enjoying player senior hockey after already picking up 20 points in just nine games.

“I’m glad to finally be playing senior hockey. It’s a big step up from the juniors, but I like to think I’m on the expected level now and have become a positive part of the team set-up,” he said.

“My personal targets are to contribute to games as much as possible and give all that I have to get the win.”

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